Update Your PHP Version on Your Amazon AMI

PHP

It’s important to keep your version of PHP updated on your web server in order to get the best performance, minimize memory use, and for the best security. In this article, I’ll describe how I updated from PHP 5.3 to PHP5.4, but the process should work for more recent versions. Note this will require command … Read more

The Best Cloud Invoicing Software for Freelancers: FreshBooks vs. Harvest

Harvest vs. Freshbooks

I finally decided that it was time to move from my primitive accounting “system” based on Word and Excel to a modern cloud-based solution for my freelance business.  I wanted invoicing, time tracking, and expense tracking.  After doing some research online, I narrowed my choices to two popular solutions: FreshBooks and Harvest.  I signed up … Read more

Create a “Slot Machine” Hover Effect with CSS

Slot Machines

A client requested a “slot machine” hover effect for their social network buttons.  When you hover on the icon, it moves up, sort of like in a slot machine, and changes color.  Here’s an example of what I’m talking about: It turns out that this effect can be accomplished with some clever CSS!  No JavaScript … Read more

My Website Launch Checklist

This is a list of items to check before launching your site. I emphasize, this is not a complete list of things to check. You might need a more exhaustive list, depending on the number of visitors you expect to have and how important your site is. 1. Check with Different Devices and Browsers, Especially … Read more

Host Multiple Sites on a Single Amazon EC2 Instance

Construction cranes

Here’s how to host multiple sites on your EC2 instance running the Amazon Linux AMI.  You might want to host different websites on a single instance, or perhaps just different subdomains, i.e., “subdomain.yoursite.com” (this is what I wanted to do). Assign a Static IP Address The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already, … Read more

Modify Your .htaccess File to Eliminate Query Strings and Make Pretty URLs

I developed a website for a client that would display different photos based on a query string in the URL.  An example of this type of URL would be “http://mysite.com/album.php?photo=ab12345”. But, that is an ugly URL. Not only that, some people claim it’s not ideal for SEO.  Much better would be “http://mysite.com/ab12345”.  Here’s how to … Read more

Style the WordPress Media Player!

Speaker cone

The WordPress 3.6 Media Player came at just the right time for me. Just a month before, Yahoo discontinued their Yahoo Player, and I was left without an audio player solution that I liked which didn’t use Flash.  Then came the WordPress 3.6 to save the day! In this version, WordPress has incorporated the MediaElement.js … Read more

Make Any WordPress Theme Responsive (Mobile-Friendly)

WordPress structure

Here is the scenario: You’ve searched high and low and found the perfect WordPress theme for yourself or your client. But, there’s one big problem: it’s not mobile-friendly. With mobile web traffic soon expected to exceed desktop web traffic, being mobile-friendly is critical. I often have to go through the exercise of converting a non … Read more

Trademark Your Website or Blog Name

One of my blogs reached a level of popularity and income where I started thinking about trademarking the name of the site. I figured that would protect it from someone trying to steal my URL by changing “.com” to “.info” or whatever. I hate legal stuff but I went ahead and did a bunch of … Read more

Add Your Website Icon to the Browser Tab

favicons

The little icon that shows up in each web page’s browser tab is called a “favicon”.  Adding this tiny detail really gives your website a professional appearance in the browser.  Here’s how to do it. If You’re Using WordPress… WordPress provides a way to specify the favicon. Log into your site and go to Appearance … Read more

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